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CA Models is using a Concept Laser M2 Lasercusing machine supplied by ES Technology to produce prototypes in titanium and aluminium alloys, materials that are widely used in the automotive, motorsport, aerospace, medical, satellite, oil and gas industries.

The rapid prototyping specialist already offered high-quality prototypes via stereolithography, selective laser sintering (SLS), fused deposition modelling, CNC machining and vacuum casting. Its additive and subtractive manufacturing portfolio was enhanced with metal additive layer manufacturing following the introduction of the M2 Lasercusing machine in 2012.

The M2 Lasercusing process involves fusing metallic powder, building layer upon layer (similar to SLS). This process gives 3D CAD designers greater design freedom.

CA Models has recently used the M2 machine to trial-build the same component, comparing several different types of intricate internal structures. The result was a component that weighs 40 per cent less than those manufactured by conventional methods. The component also provides an impressive strength-to-weight ratio, performing at the required levels of strength for the demanding applications within which it will operate.

CA Models has the added advantage of being able to post-machine components, which is essential for achieving critical and tight tolerances.

Key benefits of product application

  • The M2 Lasercusing process makes it possible to design and directly manufacture custom components, including those with complex geometries that might otherwise be impractical or even impossible to make using conventional techniques.
  • Clark Campbell, director at CA Models, said that the high utilisation of the machine over the last 12 months means the company has gained an immense amount of experience in a relatively short period of time using different software packages and experimenting with different build configurations.
  • CA Models has gained confidence as well as a detailed understanding of which industries and applications are most suited, not just to the machine but also the technology.
  • This additional expertise, capability and confidence in metal additive layer manufacture will allow CA Models to continue to expand into new markets and applications.

ES Technology Ltd is an Oxford company with a 22 year history of manufacturing laser-based manufacturing equipment and providing a range of associated services and products. Our four business units are. Design and build of special purpose laser systems. We use a range of industrial lasers to provide customers with turnkey machines for laser marking, cutting and welding.Systems incorporate handling such as robot, conveyor or bowl-feed; motion and control elements such as XY/rotary tables and of course the appropriate laser and beam delivery for the job.Control is via PC/PLC and dedicated front-end software provides the human interface and integrates barcode readers, vision, etc as required. Laser jobshop.We use 10 laser systems to provide laser marking on a subcontract basis on plastic, metal, ceramic or wood.Products and components receive logos, serial numbers, barcodes and other functional marks.We also perform fine metal cutting and microperforating services. Distribution of rapid prototyping/rapid manufacturing systems.ES is the exclusive UK distributor of Concept Laser LaserCUSING systems which make parts in titanium, aluminium, stainless or tool steel and inconel directly from 3D CAD designs by additive layer build. Optical components.Laser diodes, safety eyewear and acousto-optic components/wafers are distributed.

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